Friday, October 11, 2013

We will miss u Sachin !

As Sachin Tendulkar announces retirement from Test Cricket, 
V will miss his straight drives..
V will miss his coming down the wicket and hitting d ball above bowler's head..
V will miss thousands in d stadium cheering 'Saachiiin Saachiiin'..
V will miss the stadium erupting after every shot he played..
V will miss fans making noise simply bcoz d ball travelled towards him while fielding..
V will miss crowd of thousands going silent (with both of hands on their head in disbelief) suddenly after his wicket..
V will miss millions (including me) switching off the TVs afters he got out..
V will miss the Nation celebrating Sachin's record, forgetting political unstability, scandals n scams..
V will miss people glued to tv sets or radios watching or listening his innings in shops, stores and public places..
V will miss people asking in the middle of a match, 'Sachin kitiwar kheltoy re?'..
V will miss bowlers making their debut, dreaming to take Sachin's wicket..

V will miss u Sachin !
V will The Legend in Jersey No. 10 !

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Malshej Ghat

Malshej Ghat!!! I had heard a lot about this place and its beauty. Some of the photos which I had seen had made it one of my ‘destinations to be visited’. So when there were discussions about various destinations to go this monsoon and the option of Malshej Ghat came up, I ended casting my vote in the favor of Malshej Ghat. And we ended up finalizing Malshej Ghat. We were going with an NGO called Nisarga Mitra Mandal.  Soon we registered ourselves for the trek to Malshej Ghat. From the date we registered for the trek, all were eagerly waiting for 4th Of August!!!
The monsoons this year had been satisfactory so far which raised our expectations that our trek will be in a rainy weather. But God had written a different story; as we don’t give importance to the things easily achieved in life. As there were about 10 days to go for the trek, there was a landslide at Malshej Ghat. The road was closed for few days. Then there came news that the boulders had been cleared and the road was open for traffic. We started our planning for the trek.  But this happiness didn’t last for a long time. When there were 2 days to go for the trek, there was news that again there was a landslide at Malshej Ghat and it will be closed for few days. Now we were worried about our trek. One of us called Nisarga Mitra Mandal to confirm, and to our surprise we were going!!! Yayyyy!!!! The clouds of uncertainty were now cleared and we had begun our preparations for the trek. Life surprises us at times when we expect least from it.
And the much awaited day came. We had to leave on 3rd of August in the night. So it was me, Amol, Bharat and Sandesh who were going for the trek.  We gathered at the reporting place at our reporting time. There we were joined by office mates of Sandesh (Abhilash, Anchal, Harsha, Mohini and Saurabh). And now were a group of nine. All of us were pretty much excited about the trek. The thing which doubled the excitement was that it was Friendship Day the next Day...
When our watches showed 12 o’clock, our bus started and we yelled “Happiee Friendship Day”!!! Whoa!! What a start to the friendship day it was... We just had to ensure that we enjoy the next 24 hours to our fullest… Soon we had a small photo session in our bus itself. Then started India’s most favorite game while travelling, antaakshari.  We were also joined by others who had come for the trek. We became so busy singing songs in our strange voices that we didn’t realize what time it was until our bus stopped. It was 1.30 AM. It was a halt for Tea. Sipping Tea with friends on highway at 1.30 AM on Friendship Day, what else can one ask for?

In a little while we were back in our bus and the fun started again. Antaakshari was followed by some jokes and funny texts. Now, some wickets had begun to fall. But few (including me) were unable to sleep of excitement. When I was about to sleep, our bus stopped again. I checked the time, it was 3.30 AM. Now what? Was it another stop for tea? Sandesh stepped down the bus out of curiosity. I closed my eyes and tried sleeping. The very next moment, Sandesh knocked at the bus below our window. “Dude, the other bus has got some problem and that’s why we have stopped also. Come down.” I followed his instructions and stepped down the bus. It was little cool out there. All I could see was farms on both the sides of the road. There was no vehicle passing by on that road. We called everyone else out of the bus. Just then the sky caught my attention. How beautiful it was!!! Innumerable stars were twinkling in the sky. In fact they were the only source of light there. It was a scene which we never see in our cities. It reminded of Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai. But this one was real!  So it was about 3.45 AM and we were on a quiet road with one of the bus failed. And yes, it was Friendship Day!!! So the enjoyment began there also. We clicked some snaps trying to utilize the camera’s flash to its fullest. Soon, we were set to go. The people in other bus were ‘adjusted’ in our bus. To our disappointment, our group was separated. Me, Bharat & Sandesh were at the middle of the bus while others occupied the last row. But the excitement couldn’t let the three of us sleep. Now it was the time of ‘Bhag Milkha Bhag’ in mobile. But after realizing the amount of battery it would eat, we stopped it. Meanwhile, Sandesh was ‘run out’. It was me and Bharat for the last wicket partnership. We decided to enjoy every moment of the day and hence didn’t sleep. Time passed quickly and it was dawn.

At 6.30 AM we reached Lenyadri. After having breakfast, we marched towards the temple. Bola Ganpati Bappa, Morya!!! The temple is located in caves which are at a height. So we had to climb. We enjoyed clicking photos and observing the monkeys on our way. After offering our prayers to Bappa, we headed towards Malshej Ghat. The journey is amazing as one can see mountains covered with fog and little drizzle was like an icing on the cake. Our players who had gone to the sleeping pavilion were back and we again started the Masti in the bus. Once the Ghat started, all we could see was fog. The visibility was as low as 5 to 10 meters. And our bus slowed down, took a little turn to its right and stopped. Everyone rushed down of excitement. This was the point from where our trek was going to start.



We walked down the Ghat by road for about one Km. The best part of it was that we could hardly see the road ahead because of fog, but were able to hear the sound of waterfalls around us.   After walking for about one kilometer, we had to climb down the mountain. Now the real adventure had started. (One more thing, our phones had no network. So no texts and no calls to disturb) Climbing down the mountain was fun. We made our way from the bushes, carefully putting the feet at proper place so that we don’t fall. And if someone slipped, we had to catch the other. We were at last, behind everyone. We could hear noises (yelling in fun) of those who had reached down. There came a point where we stepped down and the scene which I saw in front was _______ (I fall short of words to describe it). There was water coming in from the mountain which we had climbed down and all those who had reached down were enjoying in that waterfall. We all jumped into it and started splashing water on each other. We had to climb this waterfall following the direction it came from. 




At times we jumped, slipped and also pushed each other into the water. Standing still and letting the water fall on us with its full force was a heavenly experience. (Go to hell all water parks; this was the best one) Next three hours were full of Majja, Masti, Dhammal, Dhingana & fun… In between we were blessed by rain which made it more joyful. We had clicked so many photos, that everyone has now got the stock of Profile Pictures and Cover Photos for a year!!!


At about 1.15 Pm, we completed climbing it and reached the road. We were supposed to be back by 1.30, but we were before time. Hurray!!! What a celebration it was… We danced like anything on the road with weird steps. Most of us would have called it madness, but we were enjoying it all that time. And how can I forget the Left_Right wala march by holding each other’s shoulders.

On our way back to our bus, we discussed how this was their best experience ever. We reached our bus and dried ourselves. By that time we all were very hungry and we attacked our lunch boxes. The other bus had also joined us till then.
On our way back to Aurangabad, we were taking back with us lots & lots of memories to cherish for. We had a look at our photos clicked out there and made fun of each other. We continued singing and playing games. We should have got tired after the whole trek(and a sleepless night in the bus), but our mind didn’t stop us as we had decided to enjoy the Friendship Day to its fullest.
Even now as I write this post, I am flooded with notifications on our Malshej Ghat Photos, which don’t allow my mind to come out of it. This is where I should stop now. A Special Thanks to Nisarga Mitra Mandal & everyone who made this ‘The Most Memorable Trek’ as well as ‘The Most memorable Friendship day’.  








Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Books !!!





Yesterday I received the parcel of CMA Final study material. I was excited and was going through the books (or say ‘Modules’ as we call it). As a habit, I opened a book and held it close to smell it. Ah!!! Only a book lover can understand how divine the pleasant smell of a new book is. New books, new syllabus, little drizzle and the cool breeze… With this, I became little nostalgic. Yes... It was in the month of June that the school started every year and we used to get new books… But a lot has changed. Text books have been replaced by Modules. The colorful and cheerful front cover is no more. Instead we have a front cover with a corporate look.
No ‘Preamble’ at the starting of the book. The fully loaded flowcharts and tables have replaced the beautiful sketches, pictures and caricatures… The various ‘Acts’ have replaced the fascinating stories…The verses have disappeared a long back.
The eagerness of the new books has now been put back by the deadline to complete the syllabus… The excitement in visiting the market is no more because these days we get books at our doorstep.
But still, books always bring a new feeling. The feeling of joy and anticipation... And the season of monsoon, adds a flavor to it !!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Madurai


We proceeded to Madurai by train. It is just 4 1/2 hours journey from Kanyakumari. The weather was pleasant as there were showers during our journey. Green fields passed by. On the way, there are many windmills on both the sides of the track.

The moment I stepped down in Madurai, I noticed too much of chaos, crowd and felt that the city is too congested. In fact all these things make the city feel lively. 


Meenakshi temple was the main attraction in Madurai. The temple is dedicated to Parvati & Shiva (Sundareshwar). The temple was nominated for the in top 30 nominees for ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’.  The temple has 14 towers which are called gopuram. These gopurams have a height of 45-50 m and therefore you can spot the temple from a long distance also. There is a ticket of Rs.50 for Camera in the temple. But still one can’t take snaps in certain restricted premises of the temple. The temple is constructed in Dravidian style. One who is interested in archeological buildings will love to spend time here.




Close to the Meenakshi temple, there is Koodal Azhagar Temple. It is a temple of Lord Vishnu.

The next place worth visiting in Madurai is Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. It is a palace of King Thirumalai Nayak. He ruled Madurai from 1623-59. 





There are shows in which the history of King Thirumallai is told through an audio. During this, there is a spectacular light show which goes hand in hand with the audio depicting the history of King Thirumallai. I felt that this sort of initiatives should also be followed in Shaniwarwada or various forts in Maharashtra so that the tourists coming from all over the world will come to know about our glorious history.

So that was a day in Madurai. We returned back to our hotel as we had to sleep early because we had to catch an early morning train to Rameshwaram.



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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kanyakumari - 2

If you haven’t read the previous post, click here.

Now it was time to visit Triveni Sangam. It is the place where The Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea meet. There also a spiritual importance of this place. People come to wash off their sins here. An interesting question was asked to me by a foreign tourist in train while returning from Kanyakumari. She asked whether I thought taking a bath would wash off all my sins. To which I replied that I had not taken a bath out there instead just washed my feet. On my reply she asked whether that was sufficient enough to wash my sins. Then I had to explain her that I was there for fun and looking at the number of people taking bath and the dirt out there, I just symbolically washed my sins by only washing my feet. 

It is also a good location for viewing sunset. To me this place resembled to a chowpaty where there was horse ride, lots of stuff to eat and shop.  After the sunset from the same place, we can see the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and The Thiruvalluvar Statue beautifully lit up under lights.


 One can roam around the various shops near the Triveni Sangam.  The shops provide variety of products from the colorful sand, sea shells, cloths, spices and so on. 

Day 2 in Kanyakumari started early morning. I was lucky enough to get a view of sunrise from the hotel itself. Waiting for the sunrise feels like you are waiting your with camera for some celebrity who is supposed to arrive. Everyone around me was there geared up with their cameras, mobiles and tabs to capture that moment. And that moment came. 

Sunrsie !!!

Captured the rising sun with The Vivekanada Rock Memorial & Thiruvalluvar Statue




Watching a sunrise like this one was special because generally I (if I am awake early morning) watch the sun rising from behind some building of the city.

So next we headed towards the Kanyakumari Bhagavathiamman temple. Kanyakumari derives the name from this Goddess.  Near the temple at a walk able distance is the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. Here the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were kept before immersion.
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial


Later we headed for ‘The Shrine of Our lady of Ransom’. The church looks beautiful in white color and is constructed in Gothic style. This 153 feet structure was constructed in 1914.The Cross at the top of the Central tower is of pure gold. If you love beautiful buildings, this one is a must visit in Kanyakuamri. 




In my next post, a little more on Kanyakumari. Stay connected with Viewfinder on facebook : https://www.facebook.com/viewfinderblog




Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kanyakumari - 1


Kanyakumari !!! 


The southernmost city of India’s mainland. This was the only little thing which I knew about the city which I studied in school geography. But when it was decided to visit Kanyakumari, just like another netizen I went through various sites through the internet to check the ‘Places to see’ out there. So I found out a few places to see before we left for Kanyakumari. The city was named Cape Comorin by the British. The name is still used in the Indian Railways as the station code of Kanyakumari is CAPE.
After a journey of about 40 hours (believe me 40 hours of journey is a long one), we reached our destination. When we reached our destination and were on the way to the hotel, I noticed that typical weather which one feels in coastal areas. It was quite hot & humid out there in february. As our rickshaws entered the hotel and I saw something which made me jump out of rickshaw and start clicking through my camera. I was yelling, “This is it!!!” The reason for my excitement was The Vivekanada Rock Memorial & Thruvalluvar Statue was visible from the hotel’s parking. The view was so awesome that our tired minds got refreshed.

View from Hotel Seaface 


After having lunch we headed for the two monuments.The only way to reach there is through ferry services from the coast because they are located 400m offshore.

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is the major attraction of tourists in Kanyakumari. Swami Vivekanada was here for meditation before his departure to World religious Conference in Chicago. There is a bronze statue of Swami Vivekanada inside the Vivekanada mandapam.
Vivekananda Mandapam

Exactly opposite of it, is Shri Pada Mandapam meaning Rock blessed by feet of Goddesses. There is an imprint of a foot, which is believed to of Goddesses Kanya.
Shri Pada Mandapam

The force of wind out there can make anything blow away!!!
Just beside the rock lies another rock on which a 133 feet statute of Thiruvalluvar stands.The only word I can describe the statue is huge.  He was a Tamil poet and a saint. The statue was opened on 1st January 2000.

Thiruvalluvar Statue



More about Kanyakumari in my next blog post.



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Friday, January 18, 2013

द हाउंड ऑफ बास्करव्हिल


'द हाउंड ऑफ बास्करव्हिल'– सर आर्थर कॅनन डायल यांची हि शेरलोक होल्म्स मालिकेतील उत्कंठावर्धक कादंबरी आहे. 
कथेची सुरुवात होते ती बेकर स्ट्रीट वर. शेरलोक होल्म्स आणि त्यांचे सहकारी  डॉ. वॅटसन यांना भेटायला डॉ. मार्टिमर एक समस्या घेऊन येतात. डेव्हनशायर येथे राहणारे डॉ. मार्टिमर यांचे मित्र व पेशंट  सर चार्ल्स बास्करव्हिल यांचा अचानक मृत्यू होतो. ते त्यांच्या घराजवळील माळरानावर मृतावस्थेत आढळतात. त्यांचा मृत्यु हृदयावर अति ताण आल्याने झाल्याचे नष्पन्न होते. त्यांचा चेहरा अविश्वानीय वाटेल इत्त्का पिळवटला होता. त्यांचा मृत्यू बास्कार्व्हील घराण्याला लाभलेल्या शापामुळे (हाउंड मुळे) झाल्याचा संशय काही जणांना असतो.
बास्करव्हिल घराण्यातील पूर्वजांपैकी एक हुगो बास्करव्हिल हे एका तरुणीस पळवून आणून आपल्या घरी बांधून ठेवतात. ती तरुणी त्यांच्या तावडीतून सुटून पळून जाते. ह्युगो तिच्या मागे जातात. बराच वेळ परत न आल्यामुळे ह्युगो चे मित्र त्यांना शोधण्यास जातात. तेव्हा त्यांना ह्युगो आणि ती तरुणी मृतावस्थेत आढळले. त्यांच्या मृत्यूचे कारण एक अवाढव्य कुत्रा(हाउंड) त्यांना दिसतो. त्याचे ते रूप पाहन ते सर्व तिथून धूम ठोकतात.त्यांच्यातील एकाचा मृत्यू होतो तर उर्वरित आयुष्यभर लोळागोळा होऊन खितपत पडतात.आणि त्यानंतर बास्करव्हिल घराण्यातील अनेकांना अचानक व रहस्यमय मरण आले.
सर चार्ल्स यांचे वारस सर हेन्री बास्करव्हिल परदेशातून लंडन येथे येतात. त्यांच्या देखील जीवाला धोका असल्याचे होल्म्स यांना समजते. शेरलोक होल्म्स सर हेन्रीन्सोबत डॉ. वॅटसन यांना डेव्हनशायर येथे पाठवतात. डेव्हनशायर येथे स्टेपलटन, फ्रँकलँड आणि बॅरीमूर हि पात्रं  कथेत येतात आणि कथा अधिकच रंजक होते. डेव्हनशायर येथे माळरानावर घडणाऱ्या घटना अधिक रहस्य निर्माण करतात. सर आर्थर कॅनन डायल यांनी माळरानाचं  इतकं उत्कृष्ट वर्णन केला आहे कि ते माळरान कथेमध्ये एका पात्रापेक्षा  कमी नाही. शेवटी अनेक नाट्यमय घडामोडी घडतात आणि अपेक्षेप्रमाणे शेरलोक होल्म्स सर चार्ल्स यांच्या मृत्यूचे कारण शोधून काढतात आणि सर हेन्री यांच्या जीवाला असलेला धोका पण दूर करतात. त्यांच्या लेखनातील ताकद म्हणजे कित्येक वर्षांपूर्वी लिहिली गेलेली हे कादंबरी २०१३ मध्ये देखील तितकीच रंगतदार आणि वाचनीय आहे.  

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